Eight new members are headed for the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame this December, joining 146 other distinguished figures in Duke athletics history.
Announced Friday morning by vice president and director of athletics Nina King, this year's inductees include women's basketball's Alana Beard, women's golf's Amanda Blumenherst, men's basketball's Carlos Boozer, men's lacrosse's Kevin Cassese, men's soccer's Ali Curtis, football's Anthony Dilweg, former women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors and former coach and administrator Jacki Silar.
The group will be formally inducted Dec. 9 in a ceremony at the JB Duke Hotel, with more details to come at a later date.
Beard is one of the most accomplished players Duke women's basketball has ever produced. Her 2,687 points in a Duke jersey from 2000-2004 land her at the top of the program's all-time points list, and she was the 2001 National Freshman of the Year and then the National Player of the Year in both her junior and senior seasons. She also received three-straight ACC Player of the Year awards beginning her sophomore year. In Beard's time at Duke, the Blue Devils won four ACC titles and made the NCAA tournament all four years. In 2002 and 2003, Beard led her team to back-to-back Final Fours. Needless to say, Beard was an All-American all four years of her career.
Following an illustrious collegiate career, Beard continued to tear up the women's basketball world after being picked second overall by the Washington Mystics in the 2004 WNBA Draft. In her 14-year WNBA career, she won a championship with the LA Sparks, was twice the Defensive Player of the Year and was a four-time All-Star, among numerous other honors. Her dominance wasn't limited to the United States, either, as she won championships in the national leagues of Israel, Poland and Spain as well.
From Duke men's basketball, Boozer joins the Hall of Fame after distinguishing himself at the college and professional levels. Boozer played for the Blue Devils from 1999-2002 and helped Duke to its third NCAA championship in 2001. In 2002, Boozer led Duke to its third consecutive ACC championship and picked up ACC tournament MVP honors along the way. Forgoing his final year of eligibility after topping the program's all-time field goal percentage rankings and landing 31st in career scoring, he declared for the 2002 NBA Draft, where he was picked 35th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his 13-year NBA career, Boozer was twice an NBA All-Star as well as a member of the 2003 All-Rookie Second Team. He also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and then a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics under his former Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
Blumenherst, formerly of Duke women's golf, graduated magna cum laude in 2009, earning her second Dinah Shore Trophy Award in a row. In her senior year, Blumenherst was also a semifinalist for the Sullivan Award, granted to the world's most outstanding amateur athlete, and a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year. The awards capped off a wildly successful collegiate career for Blumenherst in which she set or matched multiple school and NCAA records. She received multiple different National Player of the Year awards in her time at Duke, including three-straight NCGA honors. She is the only NCAA player to win the award three times. In 2006, Blumenherst also competed in the U.S. Women's Open, where she finished tied for 10th, and helped the U.S. to two Curtis Cup wins in 2006 and 2008.
Cassese received a multitude of accolades in his time with Duke men's lacrosse from 1999-2003, most notably the McLaughlin Award for the nation's best midfielder in 2002. The year prior, he was named the ACC Player of the Year, and in both of those years he was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy for the nation's best lacrosse player. In addition, he was a three-time All-American, including first-team selections in 2002 and 2003. He also led the Blue Devils to two ACC championships and three NCAA tournament berths, as well as serving as a team captain in his junior and senior seasons. At the 2002 World Lacrosse Championship, Cassese won a gold medal as part of Team USA, and after graduating, he went on to have a successful career in Major League Lacrosse. He currently serves as the head coach of Lehigh men's lacrosse.
Curtis made waves both on the soccer pitch and in the front office. While at Duke from 1997-2000, he set the program's all-time goal-scoring record, in addition to winning the Hermann Trophy his junior year and the MAC Trophy his senior year, both awards given to the nation's top college soccer player. In 1999, he led the Blue Devils to their first ACC tournament championship in program history, and tied the program single-season goals record with 17. He also stands second on the Blue Devils' career points list. He turned pro in 2001, being taken second overall in the MLS SuperDraft. Though he only ended up playing three years, he moved into front office roles, eventually becoming the MLS's first African American general manager when he took on the role with the New York Red Bulls in 2014.
Dilweg played quarterback for Duke football from 1985-1988, including two years under Steve Spurrier. In 1988, Dilweg set single-season program records for passing yards, total offensive yards, pass attempts, touchdown passes and 300-yard passing games on his way to being named ACC Offensive Player of the Year. He holds the Duke record for pass efficiency rating with 128.94. In addition to tossing the ball, he could also kick it, serving as the team's starting punter in his four seasons with the team. Dilweg spent three years with the Green Bay Packers after graduating and was honored as an ACC Football Legend in 2021.
Goestenkors received a record seven ACC Coach of the Year honors as head coach of Duke women's basketball from1992-2007. She was the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2003 and the AP Coach of the Year in 2007. In the 2001-02 season, the Blue Devils went undefeated in the regular season, the first ACC women's basketball team to do so ever. She then went on to lead two more of her Duke teams to undefeated regular seasons. Goestenkors also led the Blue Devils to 10 consecutive Sweet Sixteens, making the Elite Eight seven of those years, the Final Four in four, and the championship game twice. Her Blue Devils also won five ACC tournament championships and eight regular-season championships. Outside Duke, Goestenkors won two Olympic gold medals as an assistant coach for Team USA and won a gold and bronze medal as head coach at the FIBA World Championship for Women in 2002 and 2006, respectively. She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Silar retired as senior associate director of athletics in 2020 after a long career with Duke as both a coach and an administrator. Silar served as an assistant coach for Duke women's basketball and head coach of Duke field hockey from 1981-95. She was women's basketball's first full-time assistant coach, and in her time with the team, the Blue Devils earned their first NCAA tournament bid. With field hockey, Silar amassed 162 wins, the most by a coach in program history, and won two ACC Coach of the Year awards. After her time coaching, Silar turned to administrative duties within athletics. She was Duke athletics' first Senior Woman Administrator, and she has held posts on the NCAA Field Hockey and Women's Basketball committees, including chairing the Women's Basketball committee in the 2008-09 season.
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Sasha Richie is a Trinity senior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.